• The Auditor-General says the county has outstanding bills of Sh45.7 million.
¤Finance chief says only Sh21 million is unpaid due to lack of proper documentation
Baringo has denied being in the league of pending bills defaulters as published by the National Treasury.
County Finance executive Richard Rotich on Thursday said Baringo is up to date in the payment of contractors and suppliers.
“The National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yattani was fed with the wrong information by the Controller of Budget. We have prepared our updated version of the financial report and we are ready to submit it to him,” Rotich said.
Last week, Yattani released a list of 15 blacklisted counties among them Baringo, which have failed to pay suppliers for goods and services in the financial year ending June 2019.
The others are Narok, Machakos, Nairobi, Vihiga, Isiolo, Tana River, Migori, Tharaka-Nithi, Bomet, Kirinyaga, Nandi, Mombasa, Kiambu and Garissa.
The CS threatened to stop the transfer of conditional grants to the ‘notorious’ counties for the 2019/2020, effective December 1.
“We cannot be denied money unjustly yet we have paid all our suppliers. We, therefore, ask to be omitted from that list. We don’t expect to be punished for a mistake we’ve not done,” Rotich said.
According to the Auditor-General Report of 2017/18 financial year, the county had total outstanding bills of Sh45.7 million.
“Out of the above amount we paid Sh24.7 million and only Sh21.7 million is pending due to lack of proper documentation,” the Finance boss said.
Some Sh13.4 million was paid in February this year yet “the Controller of Budget went ahead to add the Sh13.4 million (which is already paid) plus Sh21.7 million (which has got verification issues) to make a total Sh35.1 million pending bill, which is not true” he said.
He said Governor Stanley Kiptis had appointed an independent team to investigate and verify the Sh21.7 million pending bill.
He stated that COB did not bother to update their report after February 2019, “when we had settled all our pending bills.”
“I want to make it clear to the people of Baringo and Kenya that we don’t have pending debt for 2017/18,” Rotich said.
What is now pending, he added, were the 2018/2019 bills “and we hope to complete payments before the end of this last quarter”.